3. Some positives
Josef Martinez scored again (more on that later), breaking a four-game goalless streak. Hector Villalba made his way back on to the pitch after missing the previous game. And Greg Garza made his first appearance in months and logged 72 minutes in the process.
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Despite the awful loss and the negative consequences of said loss, there are positives to take away. Thanks to the minutes played by Garza and Villalba, it looks like Atlanta will be able to field their first-choice starting XI for the first time in almost six months. Those game minutes were valuable for both team chemistry and individual fitness.
Atlanta are lucky to miss the knockout round this year. The team had to play on three days rest last season when they played Columbus Crew in the knockout round. This year they get a full week of rest and training. Although they won’t know their opponent until Wednesday or Thursday night, the team knows it will be one of three opponents.
Plus, the team can somewhat relax now that the regular season is over. There is only one goal now: win the MLS Cup and get the club’s first trophy.